As per this blog post and this Facebook post, the following is a conversation that took place between Uddhava and Sri Krishna in the Uddhava Gita. Is there any truth to this story/conversation? Is it part of another Purana or scripture?

Uddhava asks:

Krishna, you were a dear friend of the Pandavas. They trusted you fully as Apadhbhandava (protector from all difficulties). You not only know what is happening, but you know what is going to happen. You are a great gyani. Just now you gave the definition of a true, close friend. Then why did you not act as per that definition. Why did you not stop Dharmaraja [Yudhishtra] from playing the gambling game? Ok, you did not do it; why did you not turn the luck in favour of Dharmaraja, by which you would have ensured that dharma wins. You did not do that also. You could have at least saved Dharmaraja by stopping the game after he lost his wealth, country and himself. You could have released him from the punishment for gambling. Or, you could have entered the hall when he started betting his brothers. You did not do that either. At least when Duryodhana tempted Dharmaraja by offering to return everything lost if he betted Draupadi (who always brought good fortune to Pandavas), you could have intervened and with your divine power you could have made the dices roll in a way that is favorable to Dharmaraja. Instead, you intervened only when Draupadi almost lost her modesty and now you claim that you gave clothes and saved Draupadi's modesty; how can you even claim this – after her being dragged into the hall by a man and disrobed in front of so many people, what modesty is left for a woman? What have you saved? Only when you help a person at the time of crisis, can you be called 'Apadhbandhava'. If you did not help in the time of crisis, what is the use? Is it Dharma?’

Krishna laughs and says:

Dear Uddhava, the law of this world is: "only the one who has Viveka (intelligence through discrimination), wins." While Duryodhana had viveka, Dharmaraja lacked it. That is why Dharmaraja lost.

While Duryodhana had lots of money and wealth to gamble, he did not know how to play the game of dice. That is why he used his Uncle Shakuni to play the game while he betted. That is viveka.

Dharmaraj also could have thought similarly and offered that I, his cousin, would play on his behalf.

If Shakuni and I had played the game of dice, who do you think would have won? Can he roll the numbers I am calling or would I roll the numbers he is asking. Forget this. I can forgive the fact that he forgot to include me in the game. But, without viveka, he did another blunder. He prayed that I should not come to the hall as he did not want me to know that through ill-fate he was compelled to play this game. He tied me with his prayers and did not allow me to get into the hall; I was just outside the hall waiting for someone to call me through their prayers. Even when Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva were lost, they were only cursing Duryodhana and brooding over their fate; they forgot to call me. Even Draupadi did not call me when Dusshasan held her hair and dragged her to fulfil his brother’s order. She was also arguing in the hall, based on her own abilities. She never called me. Finally good sense prevailed; when Dusshasan started disrobing her, she gave up depending on her own strength, and started shouting ‘Hari, Hari, Abhayam Krishna, Abhayam’ and shouted for me. Only then I got an opportunity to save her modesty. I reached as soon as I was called. I saved her modesty. What is my mistake in this situation?

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    No, Krishna doesn't even speak about the Pandavas and Duryodhana in the Uddhava Gita; you can read the Uddhava Gita in the 11th Skanda of the Srimad Bhagavatam: vedabase.com/en/sb/11 And I don't think Krishna speaks to Uddhava in any other Puranas. It's possible that he made this statement to someone other than Uddhava though. Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 20:58
  • Nice question. The answer of Krishna looks quite sensible (except the bold statement). All things are falling in the boxes nicely, hence it seems too good to be true. "Did he say" will be too narrow to go beyond yes/no/unsure. In a way, it's already answered. "Why did he say" would be more intersting. Though I am still unsure, the statement in question would have been told really. Krishna being critic of PAndava seems rare. May be he is referring "discrimination" specific to dice game event, not in general.
    – iammilind
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 10:57
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    Good lord how did I miss this? This is a rubbish story with even worse reasoning. Full of false assumptions and false data about events
    – user1195
    Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 16:48
  • @KeshavSrinivasan: There are mentions of conversations between Bhagavan and Uddava in Mausala Parva (MBh chapter 3 from sacred-texts.com) and Brahmavaivarta purana (krishna-janma Kanda chapter 98 when Uddava returns to meet bhagavan after meeting Sri Radha and the Gopis) but they are contextual conversations and not to the note of an extended philosophical discussion (such as the Uddava Gita of Bhagavatham) or something that would be classified as a Gita. Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 12:51

2 Answers 2


No, Krishna wouldn't have spoken that.

See the contradictions of Uddhava Gita (UG) from the version in MahAbhArata:

UG: "Dharmaraj also could have thought similarly and offered that I, his cousin, would play on his behalf."

In reality the invitation was supposed to be sent by DhritarAshtra/Kuru-s to be able to present in the assembly of game. Even if invited, Krishna was already out of his capital DwArika for another battle.

Vasudeva said, O lord of earth, if I had been present at Dwaraka, then, O king, this evil would not have befallen thee! And, O irrepressible one, coming unto the gambling-match, even if uninvited by the son of Amvika (Dhritarashtra), or Duryodhana, or by the other Kauravas, I would have prevented the game from taking place, by showing its many evils, ... [source]

UG: "If Shakuni and I had played the game of dice, who do you think would have won?"

Shakuni didn't have any match in dice game. Moreover Krishna was not interested in commencing dice game itself due to its inherent evils. He had shown lots of them as seen in above link. The game of dice was known to be of "cheating nature" to all. Still if it would have started then Krishna had other ideas to stop it:

..., if he had rejected my gentle counsels offered as medicine, then, O best of the Bharata race, I would have compelled him by force! And, if those who wait at his court, professing to be his friends but in reality his foes, had supported him, then I would have slain them all, along with those gamblers, there present! ... O son of Pandu, on arriving at Dwarka I learnt from Yuyudhana all about thy calamity! [source]

UG: "He tied me with his prayers and did not allow me to get into the hall; I was just outside the hall waiting for someone to call me through their prayers."

Not correct. Krishna himself shows disappointment that his absence caused this distress to PAndava-s. Even Yudhishtira expected him to be present in the hall:

Yudhishthira said, 'O Krishna, why wert thou absent (from the Anartta country)? And, O descendant of the Vrishni race, while thou wert away, where didst thou dwell? And what didst thou do while out of thy kingdom?'
Krishna said, 'O bull of the Bharata race, I had gone for the purpose of destroying the (arranging) city Salwa... And searching him here and there, I found him in an island in the midst of the ocean! ... it was owing to this affair that I could not then come (unto thee)! As soon as I heard of the unfair game of dice at Hastinapur, I have come here desirous of seeing ye who have been plunged in distress.' [source]

UG: "Even Draupadi did not call me when Dusshasan held her hair and dragged her to fulfil his brother’s order. She was also arguing in the hall, based on her own abilities. She never called me."

Seems little doubtful. Draupadi was a wedded wife of PAndava-s, hence firstly she would assume it to be their responsibility. She prayed Krishna only when they couldn't do anything due to they observing Daasa Dharma:

Drupada's daughter Krishna ... eyes bathed in tears, said, ... I was treated as a slave by those sinful wretches. And when the Pandavas beholding it all sat silent without giving way to wrath, in my heart I called upon thee. O Govinda, saying,--Save me, O save me! [source]

Last but not the least, as noted at few places in MB, Yudhishtira played and stacked everything one by one against his own will, bound by an oath:

Yudhishthira said,--'It would seem then that some of the most desperate and terrible gamblers always depending upon deceit are there. This whole universe, however, is at the will of its Maker, under the control of fate. It is not free. O learned one, I do not desire, at the command of king Dhritarashtra to engage myself in gambling. The father always wisheth to benefit his son. Thou art our master, O Vidura. Tell me what is proper for us. Unwilling as I am to gamble, I will not do so, if the wicked Sakuni doth not summon me to it in the Sabha? If, however, he challengeth me, I will never refuse. For that, as settled, is my eternal vow." [source]
Arjuna hearing this, said ... The king was summoned by the foe, and remembering the usage of the Kshatriyas, he played at dice against his will. [source]

If above is believed to be true, then the story presented in Uddhava-Gita seems to be an artistic passage by a creative mind – beautiful but imaginary.


No. This is not right. Krishna doesnt speak about Pandavas in Uddaha Gita. In Uddhava Gita, Lord Krishna gives upadesha to Udhava and finally asks him to go to Badrikashram to do severe penance. More info here : http://www.esamskriti.com/essay-chapters/A-Bird%60s-Eye-View-of-the-Uddhava-Gita-4.aspx

Moreover, analyzing Krishna's character in Bhagavata and Mahabharata, Krishna will never say that 'Duryodhana had Viveka'.

But its true that Krishna says Dharmaraja lacks Viveka in couple of occasions in Mahabharata. I'm referring to Original Vyasa bharata.

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    Where in MB does Krishna say Dharmaraja lacks Viveka? Can you cite the exact parva & shloka? Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 19:53
  • @abhishek - He does mention the Pandavas in Uddhava Gita and you are so so wrong - vedabase.com/en/sb/11/16/6. Care to change your answer ?
    – user8771
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 7:09

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